Before we wandered these hills, other feet stood on the rocks, walked these woods, heard the way the breezes played through the poplars, watched the sun shoot its borning rays down into the hollows.
Before the parking lots and asphalt roads. Before the houses and the malls, like a million million mushrooms gathered in every valley and on every hilltop. Before the tearing machines, the industrial fumes, the buzz and rumble of commerce.
Before the barbarians came, before the savages appeared with their guns, with hearts of stone seeking halls of gold.
This is not a new story, but somehow we keep missing the point, keep calling the wrong ones the savages, keep stepping up to the bench of divine justice, lawyers defending the mass murderer. Before the first (or not the first) one sailed the ocean blue, before him, yes, there was war here. Yes, sometimes there was famine and disease.
But before the big boats began to appear here, there were functioning and thriving societies here. Families in villages and longhouses, in townsful of people. There was hunting and fishing and foraging. There was knowledge and wisdom. There were councils and songs, dances and dreamings. There was art and society, law and leisure.
Today I will not celebrate the ending of that world. Today I will mourn for the world that was lost when “first contact” was made. I will walk in the woods with my children. I will forage for something to make into tea or supper. I will stand on these stones with my feet and re-member what stories I can.
1. The ancestors. Of me. Of this land.
2. Telling the truth
4. New dreamings
5. Robins in the bosque
May we walk in Beauty.